[Previous message][Next message][Back to index]
[Commlist] CFP for Academic Quarter on Heroism
Mon Apr 08 12:06:10 GMT 2019
Call for Volume 20, 2020: *Heroism*
Tem Frank Andersen, Aalborg University
Craig James Smith, Canterbury Christ Church University
Michael Wagner, Aalborg University
In times of hardship and distress, the need for heroes becomes strong.
In history, all cultures have responded and represented the origin, the
life and death of the hero, as a calling out to deal with insecurity,
precariousness and downright danger. In ancient times, the hero or the
heroine was a warrior both skilled in the art of war but also possessing
an outstanding moral compass and selflessness. The heroes were
considered both idols and ideals and stood for the pinnacle point of the
human ability to be more than mere humans. Thus, heroism can be used to
describe a part of culture and society that strives to be better for the
collective good. Tina Turner may have sung “We don’t need another hero”
in George Miller and George Ogilvie’s /Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
/(1985). In the desert sand of the dystopian future Turner’s cry for “no
hero” gives rise not to the hero that the people want, but to the hero
the people need. This theme was also the punch line of Christopher
Nolan’s /Batman: The Dark Knight/ (2008). The dark caped crusader flees
on his ingenious Bat-bike into the night for a crime he has not
committed, but a crime to which he needs to be blamed for the good in
the urban people to shine bright. But as a society, as individuals, as
citizens we do need heroes. We need them so much that we create an
abundance of them to keep the hope of justice and the hope of a future
In ethnography, social anthropology, leadership and organizational
studies, history and cultural studies the hero is considered the
protagonist that will help good vanquish evil (Franco et al. 2018; Frisk
2019; Jayawickreme & Di Stefano 2012). But as modern popular culture has
demonstrated in novels, movies and comic books the hero or heroine is
walking on the line of being an antagonist to the same people, he or she
intended to protect. Thus, the notion /heroism/ is an ambiguous one. The
hero or heroism reflects what is good and best in human beings and their
collective, but this reflection has flaws, cracks, and even distortions.
The hero is a liminal character, walking the line between-and-betwixt
good and evil, here and beyond. As liminal being the hero can be turned,
but will only remain or renew his status as hero if the hero turns back.
So, how can “heroism” be understood as a cultural phenomenon? One that
both can be ancient and hypermodern, but also can be as enigmatic like
the uncompromising “hero” Rorschach in Zack Snyder’s /Watchmen /(2009).
How are we to understand the mythical tales and everyday press stories
of heroism considering our present time of individualization,
individualism, and constant connectivity?
This issue of /Academic Quarte/r calls for contributions on the theme of
“Heroism” from a broad range of studies of history, philosophy, culture,
community, audiences, fans, literature, media, movies, comics, computer
games and toys. But the theme of heroism is not confined to the realms
of fiction and realism. All heroes or heroines do not wear cowls, capes,
spandex outfits or use ancient artifacts or fancy tech-gadgets. Browsing
the social and content sharing network site YouTube results in many
representations of “everyday heroism” from all over the world. Videos
presenting firefighters and paramedics saving lives, citizens helping
senior citizens in difficulty or distress, and healthcare personnel
selflessly working beyond their call and duty (Scheipers 2014; Jordanova
2014). These videos function as both a recognition and a celebration of
what Michel de Certeau called “the everyday man” (de Certeau 1984).
Heroism is among and amidst us every day, and this reminds us that
heroism is a title that society or groups of citizens attribute to
certain individuals that stand for that which we consider admirable and
good. As Thomas Carlyle’s /On Heroes, Hero Worship and the Heroic in
History/ (1841/2013) portrayed so-called great men or heroes and their
roles in history, whereas e.g. Karl Marx and Herbert Spencer adapted a
wider scope to the forces forming history.
The theme of heroism, however, is massively represented and reflected in
the vast (re)production of superheroes. During the 2000s and the 2010s
some of the biggest box office successes in the world of movies are
narratives and visualisation of superheroes, and gendered aspects of
heroism have become manifest as “superheroines” have taken the scene.
The representation of the super human and was born in the 1930s with the
emergence of the superhero as an independent character. Though the
history of the superhero dates much further back than the advent of the
heroes of /Action Comics /and /Detective Comics/, in the 1930s the world
of superheroism was created in times of economic and social depression
(Coogan, 2006). The superheroes were both alien and from earth, and
their domain was the growing cities and the constant waves of crime and
disorder. The Second World War presented the superheroes with the
ultimate foe: Nazis. The fight against human evil became the defense for
values of individualism, freedom, national identity and patriotism. In
the 1960s the superheroes looked to the stars and were confronted with
intergalactical beings and aliens and heeded the call to fight for
humanity and human rights. In the more recent superhero movies and
streaming series meta-humans and super-beings explore precisely what
defines to be human as the basis of heroism (MacDonald et al, 2018). Or
in the words of late Stan Lee’s web wielding teenager, Spider-Man: With
great power comes great responsibility!
This issue of /Academic Quarter/ invites journal article contributions
from the scholarly areas of, but not exclusive to, literature including
comics and graphic novels, art, film and media, ethnography,
anthropology, cultural studies and management and organisational
studies. The theme of the articles can be subsumed under these headings
within the following themes:
* Heroism and diversity: Gender, ethnicity, alienism
* Heroism and remediation: From book to movie, from comic to digital
content, podcasting on heroism in popular culture
* Heroism and narrative: Origin stories, myths, news reports and
* Heroism and commercialization: Merchandizing, learning programs,
* Heroism and belief systems: Religion, values, utopia, the divine in man
Carlyle, Thomas. 1841/2013. /On Heroes, Hero Worship, and the Heroic in
History/. Yale University Press.
De Certeau, Michel. 1984. /The Practice of Everyday Life./ California:
Coogan, Peter. 2006. /Superhero: The Secret Origin of a Genre/. Monkey
Fleischbein, Rene. 2011. “New hero: metafictive female heroism in ‘Fire
and Hemlock’”. In /Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts Vol/. 21(2), pp.
Franco, Zeno E. et al. 2018. “Heroism Research: A Review of Theories,
Methods, Challenges, and Trends”. In /Journal of Humanistic Psychology/
Vol. 58(4), p. 382-396.
Frisk, Kristian. 2019. “What Makes a Hero? Theorizing the Social
Structuring of Heroism”. In /Sociology/ vol. 53(1), p. 87-103.
Jayawickreme, Eranda & Paul Di Stefano. 2012. “How Can We Study Heroism?
Integrating Persons, Situations and Communities”. In /Political
Psychology/ Vol. 33(1), p. 165-178.
Jordanova, Ludmilla. 2014. “On heroism”. In /Science Museum Group
Journal/ Issue 1. London: Science Museum.
MacDonald, Kathlee et al. 2018. “Heroism and nursing: A thematic review
of the literature”. In /Nurse Education/ Today Vol. 68, p. 134-140.
Martens, Keegan. 2018. “Reimagining Heroism: A Conceptual Analysis
Through /Antigone/ and /Medea/”. In /Journal of Humanistic Psychology/
Vol. 58(4), p. 431-443.
Scheipers, Sibylle ed. 2014. /Heroism and the changing character of war:
Towards post-heroic warfare/. Palgrave Macmillan.
Submission of abstract:
September 15^th 2019
Submission of full article:
November 15^th 2019
Submission of revised/final article:
March 1^st 2020
Publication of article in journal volume:
Abstracts in app. 150 words in either Danish or English must be
submitted by September 15th 2019 to guest editor Tem Frank Andersen
((_tfa /at/ hum.aau.dk) <mailto:(tfa /at/ hum.aau.dk)>_). The contributors will
receive answer as soon as possible. Accepted articles must be sent to
the guest editor no later than November 15th 2019. The article can be
between 15.000-20.000 keystrokes (app. 3.500 words, spacing included),
and must use the Chicago System Style Sheet
submitted article will be sent to double blind peer-review. The authors
will receive the anonymised reviews during January 2020. The final and
revised article must be returned by March 1st 2020, and the issue will
be published June 2020.
/Academic Quarter /is authorized by the Danish bibliometrical system,
and the journal is subsidized by Danish Council for Independent Research
Culture and Communication.
This mailing list is a free service offered by Nico Carpentier. Please use it responsibly and wisely.
To subscribe or unsubscribe, please visit http://commlist.org/
Before sending a posting request, please always read the guidelines at http://commlist.org/
To contact the mailing list manager:
Email: (nico.carpentier /at/ vub.ac.be)
[Previous message][Next message][Back to index]